We are all White and Maroon [Guest Blog]

This is a Guest Blog by ILQer Yousef AG. You can follow him on twitter at @yousef_ag


Qatar Largest Flag

The 18th of December is a day of unity, pride, but above all, nationalism. This is the day national unity was achieved when Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammad Al Thani won autonomy among the many local tribes under his leadership. This is the day to recognize and celebrate Qatar’s forefathers, the heroes of hardship and endurance that worked hard to ensure the unity of their nation.
I am, without doubt, privileged to take pride in this day.And I am not alone.
This is the day that marks yet another year of progression in the realms of politics, economics and social affairs. We, as individuals who live in this country, look at the white and maroon flags that stand high above us and smile with pride. We are the heart of this country. We enrich this country’s essence with our diversity and cultural attachments. We understand this country’s stance because we are in a position to do so: we live here. This is our home. For some, home is temporary, and for others, it is permanent. But the statement still stands.
This is home.

All About Qatar National Day – A day to feel pride

Qatar is building on the number of events to celebrate National Day year on year. There are a number of huge milestones and events that have lead up to this as well. Qatar’s definitely in the spotlight thanks to mega event after event (World Cup, COP18, Arab Spring involvement, Katara expansions, etc… etc…) and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.

Why are Qataris so proud? Well we haven’t had that much to be proud of for a long time. Our Emir has brought so much change and development to Qatar that it’s something to almost brag about. A typical Qatari will gladly sacrifice a lot for his country. The Emir has done so much to make our lives better, so why don’t we lift the burden off of his shoulders a bit and try to help?

So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Pakistani, Chinese or any other nationality (let’s face it, Qatar is a melting pot of diversity), please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness flow through you like a rush of energy. Think positive and have hope for a fantastic future. Think of each firework that goes off on December 18 as the sound of the country’s heartbeat. WE are Qatar.

One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September. Here’s some more info about National Day (from QatarNationalDay.qa):

On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.

National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is a mere two years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.

The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar. We want you to be a part of it!

This year, the country is making an extra effort to thank the expat community here too for all their hard work to make Qatar a better place 🙂

We’re working hard on www.qatarnationalday.qa again this year (5th year now?) so you can find all the events and great content for National Day.  Until then we’ve got a temporary list going, click here for Qatar National Day event list 2013

Have an event or activity you want to make sure is listed? Drop the team an email at [email protected]

Check out the World Cup Trophy and the plane

Hey there everyone, I was in the fortunate position to be one of a few people that got to go on the World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca Cola plane. (That’s a mouthful right there.).

I thought it would be interesting to share what I saw, a few cool facts, and vlog while I was unveiling the trophy too! (Tell me, how many people in Qatar would do that for you all?).

Check out the video and please don’t forget to leave me a comment and subscribe. It keeps me going!
Also, thank you so much to all of you followers who have been patiently waiting for the next blog post. I promise that I’ll be getting back up to speed soon, especially since on December 18th, I’ve got a huge SITE WIDE surprise for everyone.

First look – Al Wakrah Stadium – Video, Pics, and Goals

Alright everyone, a lot of people have been talking about the World Cup 2022 happening in Qatar and one of the most exciting things is the development happening around the country. One of the stadiums that a lot of people have been interested in is Al Wakrah Stadium. Especially since it was one of the final stadiums to be unveiled. Mystery is exciting right?

So I now present to you Al Wakrah Stadium! A 40,000 seater and cooled stadium located 15km south of Doha in Wakrah. (Interesting fact, that’s were fishermen and pearl divers based themselves).

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022


Also, the Qatar 2022 team shared some stuff with me. They wanted to let everyone know what their goals are (heh heh pun intended). Remember these goals everyone. They’ll have to stick by them!

1– Drive and deliver an outstanding Fifa World Cup Programme. (Yes! I want people to admire Qatar!)
2– Build high quality talent and establish a centre of excellence (Nice, who’s going to be the Qatari Pele?)
3– Deliver an exceptional national and international experience (Not entirely sure what they mean here)
4– Support economic diversification and business environment development (That’s a pretty big mouthful, but it’s related to getting the private sector involved).
5– Promote football and healthy lifestyles (nice, my recommendation is to have more places for people to play football. Like literally, I should be able to call up my friends and say, let’s go play, and then find a field to play in. Right now, I couldn’t even play at Aspire park if I wanted to.)
6– Improve environmental sustainability (They’re committed to LEED, GSAS, and reducing the Qatar carbon footprint. I’d like to know a bit more on the how. The fact that it’s a priority is fantastic though.)

The stadium is also going to be harnessing solar energy to help power as much as possible.

Some other fun facts in numbers.

24-28 is the range of temperature that the stadiums will be at
50 is the maximum number of km between stadiums.
1981 is when Qatar reached the final of the Fifa World Youth Championships for the first time (defeating Brazil and England).
170,000 the number of seats that Qatar will donate to countries in need of sporting infrastructure following the world cup.
50 million the expected per annum capacity of the new Hamad International Airport by 2022

Anyway, I’m excited for what’s to come. I can’t wait for even more projects to be completed. On the way to making the world proud? Hope so!

ILQ Radio Demo – We need your feedback (you decide what to listen to)


So we came up with this idea of creating a radio station. Something that’s Online at the moment and something focused on entertainment. We wanted to create something that could compliment the awesome QF Radio and focus on the community too.

We’re in the middle of recording some shows and right now we’re testing the capabilities of the streaming server.

This is YOUR chance to let us know what you want to listen to, what type of programming, and basically decide on the whole schedule. We’ve got some of our own ideas but we really need your help. Right now we’ve got ‘The People’s hour’, Random Event Highlights, J/K Pop hour, Bite Size news from Doha News, Sarcastology, and a few other suggestions like a Health and Wellness Show.

So in the comments section below, can you please post what you think about the quality of the audio and ideas that you have?

We’ll be updating the demo with more content so consider this Demo Beta Alpha 3 😀

To make your life easy so you can tune in any time, just visit http://radio.iloveqatar.net If you are on your iPhone, tap on ‘add to homescreen’. If you’re on an Android device, you can either visit the site OR download the app here (ILQ Radio APP).

Oh and help us out by tweeting and liking please. It takes a second of your time and will help us spread the word.

Thanks all!

– Mr. Q (Your friendly neighbourhood Qatari)

Click the link below to play ILQ Radio

Read the rest of this entry »

Start ups and SMEs in Qatar here’s your first step

Dear Startups and SMEs. It’s time to take your first professional step! First of all I wanted to say congratulations to Enterprise Qatar on the appointment of their new CEO. His name is Abdulaziz Al Khalifa. Don’t know him? Ask around, you’ll hear nothing but great things about this guy. What’s more exciting for me, is the fact that he’s all about supporting Qataris and encouraging start-up partnerships in the country. I get excited when there are people who want to empower the youth that get put into these great positions.

I wanted to share something that EQ call the Jadwa program. I’ve gone through their documents and their website and thought it would be nice if I put together the main points (or al zibda in Arabic). Honestly, there are many people (myself included) that have been burnt and demotivated by ‘incubators’, investment schemes and grant programs. Honestly, I kind of felt like it was all for show. “Hey look at us, we’re helping startups”, and then they just sit there.

I’ve seen other organizations (not necessarily in Qatar) that have spent MILLIONS on publicity and luxurious events. Honestly, all I could think was “Wait… why don’t they just use those millions to actually invest in startups?”. Common all you other youthful entrepreneurs, you’re thinking it, I just said it.

Anyway, now EQ has caught my attention (about time!) and it’s with this Jadwa program.

What is it?
You know what I’m bad at? Numbers. I get a great idea and go with my gut instinct. You know what would have given me even MORE confidence in my ideas? Understanding the potential of the business I’m trying to run. Now if I was going to pay a company or consultant to help me put together a feasibility study, it could cost an arm and a leg.

What Jadwa does is they will cover the cost of up to 70% of conducting a feasibility study. Before that, they’ll help advice you as to how sound your businesses idea is before actually moving forward with the feasibility study (that’ll help save you cash).

What’s included in the feasibility study is Market analysis, potential for profit, legality, and more. The goal is to look at the opportunities and weigh them in with the risks. Put simply, they’ll help you assess the cost required and the value you’ll be getting.

More info here on what a feasibility study includes.

Why should you do this?
Well, I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Different entrepreneurs have different styles. If I was asked to be a part of a program where the program organizers controlled my time and told me what to do, I’d ignore them. If someone made a service available to me that I could use when I wanted to, then I’m interested. So it depends how you want to get started with your business.

Who can apply?
If you’re a Qatari great. You’re one step closer. If you’re an expat, find your Qatari partner and you’re one step closer. (Don’t get sensitive please, this is a program focused on supporting Qataris in Qatar set up businesses in Qatar as a priority first 🙂 )

Here is the online Application form for Entrepreneurs
Here is the online Application form for SMEs

Not what you’re looking for?
Don’t worry. I had a chat with the EQ team and they told me that they’re launching different products and services. There’ll be investment support, advisory services, office space, etc…

My advice

I’m about to impart some words of wisdom here. Take it from a guy that has business idea after business idea.
1- Focus. Pick something you’re seriously passionate about and believe in and go with it. Don’t get distracted. You’ll fail. If you don’t beleive in your own idea, why will others?
2- Be prepared to take some financial risks. Even if you DO get funding, it can be a while until you actually receive anything. Do you want to sit around and wait?
3- Partner! Find the right partners, whether it’s another business you can work with or someone that you want to work with in your own company.
4- Even if you are a small business that has already started for a while. Think like I do. Your business is just start-up with a head start. (It’s important to get into the right mindset).

Another note specifically for expats:
One common thing I hear is, it’s not fair that a Qatari gets 51%. Let’s set this straight. It doesn’t mean that a Qatari takes 51% of the profit. It’s 51% legal responsibility. That means that if the expat he is partnering with or sponsoring takes a loan for 1million riyals and runs away, the Qatari has legal responsibility and can go to jail. So just as an expat might worry about the Qatari sponsoring them, we Qataris also have to worry about the possibility of getting screwed over.
So to set things straight, you could have a legal partnership where the Qatari has 51% ownership but 10% equity or is 5% share plus a fixed salary. (These are just examples).
You want to know why there needs to be Qatari partnerships? We’re 8% of the population! It would take less than a couple of years for people of ANY nationality to just come to Qatar, set up shop, and take all the opportunities away from Qataris.
Then there’s the argument of “Well if they don’t want to do it, then why stop other people from doing business?”. Who says Qataris don’t
Some may say “it’s not OUR fault, not enough people have the entrepreneurial drive or skills to set up a business.” Qatar is a NEW country. Give my people a chance… 🙂

Any comments? Feedback? I’m pretty sure EQ will probably be checking this blog for your ideas and comments.

Get a 10% discount on tickets to Dralion by Cirque Du Soleil in Qatar!


Alright everyone, here’s a nice supruise for all you ajeeb ILQers. If you’re interested in attending Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion, you can now get a 10% discount on tickets! Like the thought of that? Want to know more I hear you say?

Here’s what you need to do!

  1. Go to the Dralion ticketing website www.cirquedusoleil.qa
  2. Click on the ‘BUY; button
  3. Choose the date/seats
  4. Review your purchase and click ‘Continue’
  5. Type in the discount code “ILQ” (has to be all caps)
  6. One you apply the code the price will change and the green check mark will appear. And that’s it!

Want to find out more information about these great event? Click here for timings, the flyer, and details.
Oh and incase you didn’t know the event has been extended too! It now ends on the 28th.

Qatar’s turning the Desert Green

This is fantastic. The goal is to try an create a new ecosystem in the desert which can then evolve into farming technology that could be used in countries that struggle due to the environment.

I recommend giving this a watch.


Why did Qatar change their National Day? (A bit of Qatar’s history and Independence)

One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September.

On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.

National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is just a few years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.

The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar.

Now let’s talk about pre-independence. Qatar was in quite a mess during the Arab revolt against the Ottomans. After the Ottoman empire collapsed, Qatar became a British protectorate on 3 November 1916. On that day, the United Kingdom, in order to bring Qatar under its Trucial System of Administration, signed a treaty with Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani. While Sheikh Abdullah agreed not to enter into any relations with any other power without prior consent of the British Government, Percy Zachariah Cox, the Political Resident in the Persian Gulf, who signed the treaty on behalf of his government, guaranteed the protection of Qatar “from all aggression by sea”.

On 5 May 1935, Sheikh Abdullah signed another treaty, which was able to obtain Britain’s agreement for the protection of Qatar from inside as well as any attacks from external forces. Oil reserves were first discovered in 1939. However, exploitation was delayed by World War II.

Now September 3rd is when Qatar officially gained its independence from the United Kingdom and became an independent sovereign state. In 1972, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani seized power in a palace coup after infighting in the ruling family.

Now you know. September 3rd and December 18 are both important dates 🙂

Cydia Concept Redesign for iOS7

I don’t really post this sort of stuff on my blog, but I do like to tinker around with designs now and then, especially when something is bothering me.
(I’m thinking about redesigning Calendar, Currency, Notes, and Reminders on iOS 7 with the hopes of someone actually turning it into a reality one day)

Anyway, I wanted to design something that still had the old app feeling to it, but with iOS7 styling. I don’t like radical redesigns and I feel like UI should be an evolution.

Let me know what you think 🙂




Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.